Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
just in time to catch the train.” On the Prairie
The next step in the tour, after the Scouts had landed at Quebec, was their proceeding by train through the vast wooded province of Ontario, with its innumerable lakes and rivers, across the open prairie and corn-lands of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, to the open downs of Alberta, bordering on the Rocky Mountains.
Here they left the train in which they had spent so many days and nights, and went on to a ranch for a few days and tasted something of the life of ranchmen; they saw real live cowboys and Indians, and tried their hand at lassoing bronchos and branding steers.
Also, some of them made an expedition to Banff, in the “Rockies,” and saw in the forest reserve there several bison, elk, and boars.
Altogether, thanks to the kindness of ranchers, Indians, and N.-W. Mounted. Police, the Scouts had a very good time near Cochrane.
Here are a few more extracts from their diaries, which give some of their experiences and impressions during this part of their trip
“ . . . Running for the train, my watch fell out of my pocket and smashed into a thousand pieces on the pavement. I didn’t mind. It never went before-it has gone now!
“ . . . Tumbled out about 8.30 a.m. Part of the train caught fire at Whitewood. Saw a ‘gopher’ (a kind of ground squirrel) on the side of the line. Stopped at Broadview for about twenty minutes. Saw a North-West Mounted Policeman – hat like the Scouts, red jacket, spurs, etc.
“ . . . A Canadian boy on the train was very decent, and told us a lot about the sport in this country, and showed us how to trap animals. He was only fifteen, but, judging by English boys, he was more like twenty-three.
“ . . . All day travelling over the prairie. Next day, after breakfast, we went in a cart over the prairie. “ . . . On the march we met a Royal N.-W. Mounted Policeman, who gave us a ride on his horse, which was jolly decent of him all round.
“Saw a North-West Mounted Policeman, Scout’s hat, red jacket, and spurs. He was jolly decent all round.”
“ . . . Three live cowboys came galloping up, wearing “shaps” (sheepskin riding-overalls), and yelling and firing revolvers. They must spend an awful lot of money on ammunition, for they shoot an awful lot into the air, and cartridges cost more here than in England.